Imagine I could grant you one wish that would enhance your professional life? What would you ask for? A better economic climate? Great self-confidence? Achievement of mastery over a skill or situation? Talented and committed team members? A more strategic board?
One thing most of the leaders I work with crave is more time. Time to get things done. Time to develop new initiatives. Time to spend mentoring their people. Time to shift their work-life balance. And especially those balancing career and children, time for themselves.
This year each of us has been promised a special and rare gift. And this week we will receive it. More time – an extra day.
One day. 24 hours. 1,440 minutes. You only get 29 February once every four years! How will you celebrate it?
Here are some ideas:
1. Do something to boost your own reserves. Stephen Covey’s 7th habit (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) is ‘Sharpening the Saw’. Covey maintains that as leaders we need to preserve and enhance the greatest asset we have – ourselves. If we fail to take time out from the woodwork to sharpen the saw, it will become blunt and ineffective.
2. Have a productivity blitz. Allocate a time limit to get something done, focus fully for that time and then stop and move onto the next thing. It’s amazing what can be achieved in half the time you think you need.
3. Drop some stuff. There are things on my to do list that I might get to in an ideal world. I don’t live in an ideal world. It’s liberating to decide I won’t do them and drop them.
4. Connect with people around you – truly connect. What do you know about what inspires your colleagues away from the office? What could shift in your relationship, if you are connected on a more personal level? What might this do to productivity?
5. Do nothing differently. Think differently. Acknowledge this gift. Appreciate what you have. Count your blessings. The science of positive psychology has demonstrated that happiness and good mental health can be cultivated through gratitude.
How will you celebrate the one time every four years you are given the gift of time?